Mark Udall 'approached,' turned down invitation to join NSA lawsuit

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) turned down an invitation to join Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) lawsuit challenging a National Security Agency program. 

A spokesman for Udall late Wednesday said the Colorado senator was approached by Paul’s camp, but never joined the lawsuit.

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“Sen. Paul’s team approached our office, but Sen. Udall is focused on his bipartisan and bicameral legislation — with Sen. Paul and others — to rein in the NSA and protect Americans' constitutional liberties,” Udall’s spokesman Mike Saccone said in an email. 

An early draft of the complaint against an NSA program initially included both Udall and Paul as plaintiffs, according to The Washington Post

The complaint challenged the constitutionality of a National Security Agency surveillance program that collects metadata, including call times, durations and phone numbers, on millions of U.S. citizens.

Udall is not cited on the final complaint, which was filed in the Washington, D.C., district court on Wednesday. 

Udall, a member of the Intelligence Committee, has been one of the strongest critics against the NSA program. 

Last year, Udall teamed with Paul and a number of other senators to introduce a bill that would rein in the bulk collection of phone metadata among other reforms.

The conservative group FreedomWorks is cited as a plaintiff in lieu of Udall in the final version.  

President Obama is also cited as a defendant on the lawsuit. The initial version did not include Obama. However, it included Attorney General Eric Holder and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who were both removed from the final draft. 

The Post obtained a draft version of the complaint after the ex-wife of a lawyer helping on the case claimed the lawyer did not receive full payment or credit. The lawyer, Bruce Fein, later said his ex-wife was not speaking for him. 

— Updated 11:29 a.m.